Mayor Makes Choice To Run AIDS Agency

By Joe Holley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 9, 2007

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) is expected to announce today that he is appointing a public health physician who has worked with HIV-infected people in several countries to lead the District's HIV/AIDS Administration.

Fenty's choice, Shannon Lee Hader, is an epidemiologist and public health physician who has directed the U.S. AIDS program in Zimbabwe. She has worked with HIV-infected children and adults in Africa, South America and the Caribbean.

If confirmed by the D.C. Council, Hader will be the third director in as many years for the agency. The position has been open since January, when Fenty chose not to keep Marsha Martin.

The District's Health Department director, Gregg A. Pane, announced that he intended to reorganize the office and then named himself interim director.

Hader, who received her medical degree from Columbia University and trained in internal medicine and pediatrics at Duke University Medical School, joined the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2001 as an epidemic intelligence service officer.

More recently, she directed the CDC's Zimbabwe Global AIDS Program. She also has served as an adjunct clinical faculty member at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

"We're very excited that Dr. Hader is joining our team," said Leila Abrar, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Department of Health. "Dr. Hader is an outstanding clinician and researcher with a wealth of national and international front-line experience in the fight against this epidemic."

Fenty has called HIV/AIDS the top public health priority of his administration. Under a campaign launched last summer, the city wants all residents between 14 and 84 to be tested to find out their HIV status. About 48,000 people were screened in 2006, a 75 percent increase over the previous year, but the campaign has fallen well short of its goal.

Fenty is scheduled to make his announcement at 10 a.m. at the Congress Heights Clinic, 3720 Martin Luther King Blvd. SE.

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